September is blood cancer awareness month. Here are ten things you may not know about blood cancers:
- Leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma are all forms of blood cancer.
- Leukemia affects the blood and bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the center of most bones and produces blood cells and platelets.
- Leukemia is classified according to how quickly it develops and gets worse. Leukemia can either be chronic or acute.
- Lymphomas develop in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of the tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells. White blood cells fight infections in the body.
- Lymphoma is often divided into two categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma differs from other forms of lymphoma by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, a type of cancerous cell.
- Multiple myeloma is a cancer that begins in the bone marrow and affects plasma cells.
- Many blood cancer survivors suffer from anemia, especially during cancer treatment. Anemia is a condition that occurs when the body does not have an adequate amount of red blood cells. You can combat anemia with nutrition.
- Bone marrow transplants are often part of a blood cancer survivor’s treatment plan. In this procedure the bone marrow is replaced after being destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation. The bone marrow may come from an individual’s own bone marrow saved before treatment (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogeneic transplant).
- According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be 54,270 new cases of leukemia this year. There will be 71,850 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 9,050 of Hodgkin lymphoma this year.
- Red is the awareness color for blood cancers, but orange is also used for leukemia and lime green is used for lymphoma.
Learn more at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).